Word Around the Block: Cuzzy’s Celebrates 25 Years

May 21, 2020 by DRG

John and his cousin, Bobby, opened Cuzzy’s on May 15th, 1995. This North Loop hang out has seen a lot in its 25 years. As John puts it, “As the neighborhood grew, so did our profits!”. But we wanted to take a step back to see how this neighborhood bar got its start and how they have been able to stay successful all these years.

Growing up, John and Bobby were raised in Minneapolis. And most days they would hop on their bikes to meet at one of their Great Uncles bars to hang out in the basement listening to music, battle at pinball and “play bar”. Now this wasn’t the only bar or restaurant the family owned. After prohibition was lifted, 3 of their Great Uncles decided to open 5 bars across Minneapolis.

As John and Bobby grew up, they both ended up working or managing one of these establishments. And while John was managing and bartending at The Polish Palace (which is now The Sample Room), one of his regulars came in for Happy Hour. They got to talking and turns out this regular heard word that the owners of Grandpas in the North Loop were looking to sell. John and Bobby immediately started the process of trying to purchase that bar. And after a few months, they opened the doors at Cuzzy’s!

For those of who have frequented Cuzzy’s, you know that the inside of the restaurant is covered floor to ceiling in dollar bills. This tradition started the day Cuzzy’s opened. After closing on the bar Friday morning, the cousins went to work getting the place ready to open for Breakfast the next day. When the first customer comes in, John and Bobby aren’t quite ready for service. So, while the customer waited, they told him to decorate a one-dollar bill so they could hang it up to commemorate their first sale.

Well, as friends and customers started to trickle into the bar, they decided they all wanted to be able to decorate a dollar too! So, what started as a 2ft x 2ft square of dollar bills, has over 25 years turned into the Cuzzy’s we know and love today.

Now to the question on all of our minds: will Cuzzy’s open on June 1st? Well, John is still unsure. “There are a lot of unanswered questions that we need to figure out before we feel comfortable opening up our Patio on June 1st”, John said.

John and Bobby also own two other restaurants in the Twin Cities, Victoria House and Cuzzy’s Brick House. For the latest updates and news on Cuzzy’s or their other restaurants, be sure to follow them on Social Media!

Here’s to another 25 years of Cuzzy’s in the North Loop!

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